Spring is here and that means the Central Alberta Buccaneers will kick off their 2017 season soon.
The crew has been busy prepping all off-season in order to make another run at the AFL championship.
Throughout the winter, the Bucs hosted indoor workouts in Red Deer’s Westerner Park. The team aimed at maintaining momentum from the 2016 season – a season that saw the Bucs win all the way to the championship game.
“Indoor workouts reduce some of the off-season rust and help us keep in touch on a social level,” said Buccaneer Vince Roth.
“Hanging out together keeps the brotherly bond alive which, ultimately, makes us a better team on the field.”
But now the off-season is coming to a close.
On April 29th and 30th, the Bucs were hitting the turf for their annual spring camp. The two-a-day practices saw the returning and new players running through drills, systems and conditioning.
“Our goals for spring camp were to create a good atmosphere for players while maintaining our competitive edge,” said team captain Mark Fay.
“This year was about coming together as a collective and balling out with our brothers.”
When asked about the 2017 season as a whole, Fay added, “The team aims to remain among the top three teams in the league and, most importantly, have fun playing. In the last few years, it seems that we lost some of our Buc pride; this year is about restoring that culture and coming together as a team.”
In addition to on-field preparation, the Bucs have been an active force in the community all year. Players and family rolled up their sleeves in April for the team’s 11th blood donation.
“It’s a ton of fun donating – the ladies at (Red Deer Blood Services) are fantastic. Donating with buddies makes the needle a bit less scary,” said Todd Lewis.
For the month of May, the Bucs also have the feature burger at Cilantro and Chive in Lacombe, the Blackbeard’s Delight Burger.
“Two dollars from each burger goes to support CAWES (Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter), so I hope people go and get fed with that one,” said Roth.
The annual ‘Bucs Day to Tackle Hunger ’ food drive is scheduled for May 13th in Lacombe as well.
“This is our eighth year organizing and running the food drive; we’ve managed to raise approximately 3,000 pounds of food each year,” said Fay.
“We’re hoping to top that amount this year.”
Players, staff, volunteers, and families will go door-to-door on the 13th and ask residents for non-perishable food items.
Meanwhile, preparations for the season got underway in March as the Bucs hosted an information night for prospective players as well as a ‘Bucs Pub Night’.
For more information on the Bucs, follow their Twitter, facebook, and Instagram sites as well as visit www.cabucs.com.